Commack students are preparing to head to classes Wednesday morning, kicking off the 2012-13 school year. They are focused on first-day outfits and stocking new backpacks with supplies.
Superintendent Donald James has shared a welcome back message with the parents and students in the Commack community. He recounts Commack School District's accomplishments, while recognizing the challenges that lay ahead.
His welcome back message, as posted on the district's website reads:
As we begin a new school year, I recall how excited and eager I felt when I greeted a new class of students. Teaching our children is both challenging and rewarding. As the educational leader of the Commack School District, I continue to share in the excitement of preparing to begin anew to stimulate and educate our youngsters, and to offer them new opportunities for growth and advancement. Our teachers and staff are committed to helping our students develop a lifelong enthusiasm for learning, and to preparing them for future success in the global community.
Commack High School was recognized by US News & World Reports as one of the 100 best high schools in the country. This impressive honor was accomplished through the foresight and efforts of a Board of Education, faculty, and administrative team that promotes the finest educational methods and teaching models. With every new curriculum and testing requirement placed on the agenda by New York State, our staff continues to embrace and develop new ways to enrich the students and expand their skills.
As a District, we have accomplished much over the last year. Our senior Class of 2012 was an accomplished group, with 98% of the class receiving a Regents Diploma, 146 students receiving the Advanced Regents with Honors designation, and 323 students achieving Advanced Regents Diplomas. Our graduates benefitted from scholarships valued at $26,938,381 from prestigious universities and colleges, as well as from generous benefactors. International Baccalaureate Diplomas were awarded to 94 of our students,and 97.5% of the graduates will be attending college in the fall. We wish them continued success and a bright future, and look forward to welcoming them back for a mini-reunion at the high school in November!
It was, and will continue to be, a challenge to manage the costs of educating our children under the State imposed 2% tax cap. The Commack School District implemented many cost saving measures for the 2011-2012 school year, and our Energy Efficiency Project will assist in keeping rising energy costs in check through green initiatives at no cost to our residents in the future. We achieved the Board of Education's goal of increased community participation and input in the budget process, and are determined to work with our stakeholders to maintain the integrity of our educational program. The Board is investigating every possible source for new revenue and implementing cost saving measures through ongoing negotiations and fiscal auditing. Through our new student data management system and a restructured analytical team, another time and cost saving initiative, we hope to streamline communication with parents, staff, and the State.
I encourage you to "stay in the loop" by signing up for Email Notification, and the new Parent Portal. I wish you and your families much success. Please know that you can contact me directly at any time. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donald James, Ed.D
Tell us, What are you and your child looking forward to in the 2012-13 school year?